SaaS-based LMS

Today, we will talk about SaaS-based LMS. But before that, let’s read this impressive “Digital technology, pervasively, is getting embedded in every place: everything, every person, every walk of life is being fundamentally shaped by digital technology — it is happening in our homes, our work, our places of entertainment. It’s amazing to think of the world as a computer. I think that’s the right metaphor for us as we go forward” – Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

Now, when we say ‘digital technology,’ we will start by speaking about the Cloud. The Cloud stores almost all of our regular data — beginning from the photos we click to our geo-locations, favorite apps, passwords, and music, among others. Even in the realm of eLearning, the Cloud is the go-to destination to host knowledge. Since it is so powerful and effortless to operate, the Cloud serves as an efficient infrastructure for new learning solutions. Commonly known as SaaS-based LMS, Cloud-hosted Learning Management Systems are increasingly becoming popular among L&D teams.

Read More: Open Source Vs Enterprise SaaS LMS: Breaking Down The Details

Again, we also have the on-premise LMS. Both of these technologies have their pros and cons. They are not competitors. So, today, we will explore both of the solutions mentioned above. Finally, we will conclude – as to which technology is best suited for your organizational requirements.

What Is a SaaS-based LMS?

SaaS-based LMS

SaaS AKA Software as a Service is similar to the iCloud, Google Cloud, or Verizon Cloud. It stores your training modules in the Cloud. The only thing you need is a stable internet connection — and you have access to all your learning materials in one place. It is a type of shared software, which equips e-learning and Cloud-hosted LMS solutions to offer a premium and user-friendly learning experience.

What Is an On-premise LMS?

An alternative to SaaS-based LMS, an on-premise Learning Management System requires organisations to install hardware or software into their gadgets — to access training courses. Sometimes, this serves as a limitation since accessibility becomes difficult. Why? With a hosted LMS, learners can use only those devices that come equipped with the required learning software.

Your servers will also need to have several add-on infrastructure pieces, which translates to increased maintenance compared to a SaaS-based LMS. It demands manual intervention for regular upkeep and frequent updates. Some organizations believe that human involvement means cost savings. But did you realize that extra human power means loss of revenues? How? You will need an entire IT team to operate the training platform. There might be additional expenses related to plugins, scripts, or video content.

Read More: Cost of an Enterprise LMS. What is a Fair Price?

SaaS-based LMS Vs. On-premise LMS: What Makes More Sense?

best saas lms

To answer this question, let’s understand the various aspects of implementing an LMS solution. Then, we will compare whether SaaS or on-premise technology is better suited to meet your requirements. In short, we will answer which learning technology is easier to use, easy to automate, and accessible.

1. Speed of Deployment

In the modern era, time is a constraint. We cannot spend months on launching and deploying a Learning Management System. A SaaS-based LMS like PlayAblo is quick to install since it ditches lengthy time frames to launch online courses and corporate learning. On the other hand, an on-premise LMS demands a highly sophisticated IT team to lead the operation. But a SaaS-based LMS does not require you to install or build out from scratch. Why? The whole infrastructure is already in place. Therefore, if you need a quick deployment time, you can go for a Cloud-based solution, which translates to savings in terms of resources and money.

2. Usability

In a SaaS-based LMS, learners, and admins have more control over the training modules since there is no added IT team involvement. It comes embedded with a gamut of authoring tools and integrations, leading to an enriching user experience. In comparison, an on-premise LMS requires constant upkeep, and recent upgrades do not get implemented across all instances. Since the climbs are not automated, you might need more time to add and activate the latest features.

3. Cost of Ownership

saas lms

When you implement an LMS, one of the vital concerns is the ROI. You have to build a flawless business case to convince your management to invest in learning software. A SaaS-based LMS, for instance, PlayAblo, cuts down on maintenance costs such as expenses incurred in infrastructure, upgrading, branding, fixes, features, etc. Hence, the resultant training platform is more cost-effective. But in the case of an on-premise LMS, the Total Cost of Ownership increases — thanks to added human resources — needed for regular maintenance.

Read More: Calculating ROI on LMS Investment

4. Growth

To promote a continuous learning culture in your company, you need to ensure that your training modules can scale and grow with time. As your business expands, your learning needs will evolve. Only then, you can increase your revenue. A SaaS LMS comes with high scalability since you already have the infrastructure in place. The addition of new users does not serve as an obstacle in this training model. But in the case of an on-premise LMS, you need to scale up the existing infrastructure as per the changing training requirements. Otherwise, the LMS architecture might showcase glitches if there is a spike in the number of users.

5. Flexibility

Any learning solution needs to be flexible. Modern audiences demand training methodologies that optimize as per the devices they use. You can access modern SaaS-based LMSs on a smartphone, PC, tablet, and desktop. All you need is the internet. Meanwhile, an on-premise LMS comes with limitations. It is rigid. One may not be able to access learning materials on the move.

A full-fledged SaaS-based LMS offers e-commerce functionality, training content, and the ability to conduct partner, member, or customer training. It includes features such as webinars, blended learning, and gamification – to boost engagement and revenue. An on-premise model cannot stretch so far as compared to a Cloud-based solution.

Ad: PlayAblo’s Enterprise-Grade Micro-Learning platform is for the modern corporate learner. Micro-Learning, along with assessments and gamification features, ensures learning outcome measurement along with sustained engagement.
Find out more and request a custom demo!

6. Integration

You should be able to integrate your HRIS or CRM data with your LMS for easy reporting. The SaaS-based LMS makes this effortless since such an LMS brings APIs that help the LMS and different systems operate in tandem. An on-premise LMS also has these integrations, but they usually come with steep fees.

Read More: Enterprise LMS: Integrate and Coexist in the Tech Stack

Ad: PlayAblo’s Enterprise-Grade Micro-Learning platform is for the modern corporate learner. Micro-Learning, along with assessments and gamification features, ensures learning outcome measurement along with sustained engagement.
Find out more and request a custom demo!


As you can see, the best SaaS LMS is cost-effective, easier to use, and promises more flexibility than an on-premise solution. If you are already reliant on future technologies such as the Cloud, a SaaS-based LMS like PlayAblo is the right way to go! With the constant evolution in learning, you might have to consider a future-friendly learning program. All the best!

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